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Life isn’t all black&white

  LAST weekend, 160 of the best chess playing children in Ireland came to fight for a title in their own age groups at the Auburn Lodge Hotel in Ennis. Players from as young as four and as old as 18 vied for the title of All-Ireland junior champion. Among the Clare winners were five-year-old Paul McNamara from Cree who won in the U-6 category, followed by Hannah Hassett from Knockerra. Cian Wall from the Doora Chess Club came second in the U-8 division, with Victoria Fennell from Knockerra taking the girls’ prize in this grouping. Speaking at the event, Mayor of Clare, Councillor Tony Mulcahy, said it was a great honour for Ennis to host this year’s championships. “I was not aware that the game of chess was so popular in Ireland, let alone Clare. I am pleasantly surprised by the fact that it is an immensely popular game and am equally delighted that one of the chess community’s …

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Clare takes three titles

CLARE handball’s future stars were to the fore at the weekend as the county was involved in five All-Ireland juvenile 40×20 finals, all played at Tuamgraney on Sunday. First up was the girls’ U-16 doubles decider, where Kilkenny (Mary Love, Ciara Mahon) had a convincing win over Clooney pair Paula Loughnane and Shaunagh O’Brien. In the girls’ U-15 doubles final, Galway duo Mary Fahy and Shannon Keady proved too strong for Natasha Coughlan and Michelle Nihill (both Clooney). In the third final of the day, Tuamgraney pair Alice Akers and Stacey Wright broke Clare’s duck by winning the girls U-17 doubles final on a 21-17, 21-12 scoreline against Dublin pairing Lisa McKenna and Susan Clinton. This was noteworthy as both Clare girls are relative beginners in handball terms and were playing a full three years above their grade. Tulla’s Colin Corbett scored an impressive 15-11, 15-8 victory over Wicklow’s Daniel Curry to claim the boys U-14 singles title before Barry …

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Stronger Sixmilebridge prove too much for Cratloe

Sixmilebridge 3-15Cratloe 0-12 A PHYSICALLY stronger and sharper Sixmilebridge side proved too strong for neighbours Cratloe in this Clare Champion Cup Division 1 tie played at O’Garney Park on Saturday.Despite the fact that they lined out without their U-21 players, with the exception of Rory Shanahan from the A team and John Fennessy from the C team, the home side had too much for their neighbours.Shanahan has only recently returned to action after injury and he certainly showed no signs of having been out of action as he  scored 1-4 from play before being replaced early in the second half.The home side played with the aid of the wind in the first half and took a seven-point lead to half-time when the score was 1-8 to 0-4.The goal came from Danny Morey shortly before the half-time whistle but the Cratloe defence will be disappointed at the concession of this score. A Danny Murphy effort from 30m slipped through the hands …

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First win for Ballyea after tough encounter

  Ballyea 2-11Killmaley 1-9 BALLYEA recorded their first win of this year’s Clare Cup campaign by defeating near neighbours Kilmaley in a close, tough and hard-fought tie in Ballyea on Sunday evening. There was very little between the sides in the opening half, which saw the game exploding into life midway through the first period in a two-minute spell when three goals were scored.The first came from the stick of Gearóid O’Connell after a great pass from Francie O’Reilly. The Kilmaley men replied from the puck-out with Diarmuid McMahon catching the ball and unleashing an unstoppable shot to the top corner of the Ballyea net. A minute later Tony Griffin broke through the Kilmaley defence to put the men in black and amber back in the driving seat. An incident in the 23rd minute ended in Kilmaley’s Conor Clancy and Ballyea’s Paddy O’Connell receiving straight red cards from referee Tom Stackpoole. The home side led at the interval by 2-4 …

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First-half goals help Ennistymon to victory

Ennistymon 3-12Bodyke 0-13 FIRST-half goals from Cathal and Tadhg Malone helped Ennistymon to this victory over Bodyke in Division 2 B of the Clare Champion Cup at the weekend.At the half-way point the North Clare men led on a score of 2-7 to 0-4 and they went on to maintain the upperhand after the break when Cathal Malone had a second goal. He finished the game with a tally of 2-5 while Tadhg Malone contributed 1-4.Keith Quigley top-scored for Bodyke with 0-8 while Colm Madden (0-3), PJ Kelleher and Ciaran Malone also got on the scoresheet Ennistymon: Martin Malone; Enda Ralph, Michael A Devitt, Aidan Slattery; Brian McDonagh, Paudie Kelleher, Seán Driscoll; Pádraig Brennan, Caoimhin Fahy; Cathal Malone, Michael Organ, Michael McDonagh; Tommy Hogan, Tadhg Malone, Darren Mullins.Subs: Dermot Canavan for Brennan; Enda Slattery for Mullins; Cathal McDonagh for M Malone.Bodyke: Seamus Ryan; Gavin Moroney, Caimin Treacy, Shane Walsh; Colin Molloy, Ivan Pio McNamara, Seán McGrath; Ciaran Walsh, Tomàs MacConmhara; …

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Cooraclare-Cree dominate basketball finals

THE Clare Community Games basketball competitions took place on Saturday and Sunday in the sports hall at Cratloe.Well organised and co-ordinated by Emer Murphy, Gráinne Lynch, Seán Stack, Damien Power, Elaine Hoey and Róisín Crowe, there was a new competition for U-11 mixed. It was a very exciting competition with some extremely close matches with one match decided by just one point.  Cooraclare/Cree contested all five competitions and now go forward to represent Clare in the Munster finals in UL on July 10. Cratloe U-13 girls are the other representatives. U-11 MIXED: 1. Cooraclare/Cree A: Davy Martyn, Colin McNamara, Sean McNamara, Jack Corry, Keenan Quinn, Róisín Keating, Megan Downes, Caoilfhionn Morrissey, Sarah Looney; 2. Cooraclare/Cree B: Michael Lillis, Luke Considine, Cathal O’Gorman, Tomas     Browne, Ronan Lillis, Eimear Griffin, Niamh Cusack, Shauna Morrissey, Megan Garry; 3. Quin/Clooney: Rachel Begg, Mary Conneally, Orlaith Nash, Michelle Meere, Ciara O’Reilly, Oisin Egan, Adam Miniter, Eoin Beirne, Paul Hogan, Ronan Wall.U-13 GIRLS: 1. Cratloe: …

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Juvenile boxers enjoy successful tournament

THE traditional end-of-season Juvenile Boxing Championships, which took place through Easter Week in the National Stadium in Dublin, always provide rich pickings for the boxers from the Clare capital. Indeed, more than 40 of the club’s fighters have garnered titles over the years at these championships. However, times have changed and now the ladies have taken centre stage. The medals tally for the season shows two gold for the young ladies from Kilfenora, one for Ennis, while KO specialist Keelan Sexton from the West Clare Club annexed the only boys’ title for the county.It might seem a reasonable tally for Clare boxers and indeed coaches Tommy Lyons and Seán Carrig from the Ennis Club were pleased with the performances of 63kg contender Lee Brady, who lost out in his semi-final to Wexford’s Tom Stevens from the New Ross Club after a fantastic battle and debutant Mike McDonagh who battled bravely to beat Ryan Lindberg from the St Agnes Club in …

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